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PhD Doctoral Programme in Governance, Hertie School of Governance, Germany

Publish Date: Feb 12, 2016

Deadline: May 01, 2016

Doctoral Programme in Governance | Key Facts

  • 3-year, English language doctoral programme
  • Academic training in research design and methods
  • Strong advisory structure and close interaction with the School’s research community
  • No tuition fees, living cost stipends available

The Programme

The programme starts in early September each year. The candidates will be prepared for their dissertation research by colloquia and common coursework in research design and methods during the first year of the programme. Candidates will find a unique support structure for their independent research in the subsequent years of the programme: Depending on their topics, students are associated with one of the Hertie School’sResearch Clusters which bring together faculty, visiting scholars, post-docs, and candidates to discuss their projects and research progress in the stimulating context of the cluster colloquium. The programme is complemented by a set of skills workshops offering special training ranging from research methods to professional development. Please consult our programme description for more information.

Structure & Supervision

From the first year onwards, each PhD candidate works with a doctoral committee which eventually comprises three dissertation advisors who provide intellectual guidance and monitor the candidate’s research progress. The first and main advisor is a Hertie School Core Faculty member. One of the other advisors should be a professor from outside the Hertie School.

Funding support

The Doctoral Programme in Governance does not have tuition costs. To ensure that our PhD students can focus on their research, we offer a limited number of living-cost stipends for excellent candidates. For more information on financing your PhD studies at Hertie School please see our Funding section.

Work Plan and Professional Development

The candidate agrees on a work plan with her/his advisor which serves as basis for the advising and supervision process. The work plan serves as a timetable of when to submit parts or chapters of the PhD thesis and as a track record of changes and amendments to earlier versions. The goal is to identify students' strengths and weaknesses and to develop strategies to support them towards completing their work within three years and to prepare them for the next steps of their careers. Please consult our programme description for more information.

DAAD Stipend for Non-German Students

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers stipends to non-German students. The deadline for an application to the DAAD depends on the country of origin. Please check the DAAD website for the deadline that applies to you. It also details the application procedure.

For the DAAD application, the Hertie School needs to confirm that you are eligible for the School’s doctoral programme. Please note that the DAAD does not require a confirmed PhD supervisor for a structured doctoral programme such as the Doctoral Programme in Governance at the Hertie School, but only a Letter of Eligibility.

If you need a Letter of Eligibility from the Hertie School, please send the short version of your PhD application tophd-applications(at)hertie-school.org including:

  • Transcripts and certificates of all acquired university degrees
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Short research proposal (minimum 3 pages) 
  • English proficiency proof (TOEFL IBT 100, PBT 600, CBT 250; Cambridge ESOL qualifications CPE C, CAE B; or IELTS overall 7.0 incl. writing score 7.0)
  • Please indicate the deadline for DAAD applications in your country of origin and make sure that you submit your short application at least two weeks before the deadline.

Please note that you need to also submit your full PhD application to the Hertie School application portal. We recommend that you submit your application early, before the end of the year, as the DAAD usually hopes for an early admission decision. The Hertie School needs your full PhD application documents to decide on your admission as your scholarship application to the DAAD and your application to the Hertie School doctoral programme are two separate processes. 

How to Apply

The Doctoral Programme in Governance is open to candidates with an exceptionally strong master’s degree (or equivalent) in economics, law, political science, sociology, public administration, management or related fields. The doctoral programme starts at the beginning of September each year with a group of 10-15 PhD students.

A complete application encompasses:

    • Online application form
    • The transcripts and certificates of all acquired university degrees
    • A curriculum vitae
    • An English proficiency proof (TOEFL IBT 100, PBT 600, CBT 250; Cambridge ESOL qualifications CPE C, CAE B; or IELTS overall 7.0 incl. writing score 7.0)
    • A funding statement to explain personal circumstances and funding situation: integrated in the online application (see Funding Process for details)
    • A short letter of motivation (600 words maximum)
      • description, goals, and methods of dissertation project
      • timetable of dissertation project
      • Name(s) of potential dissertation advisors from the Hertie School Core FacultyA research proposal (5000 words maximum) with
    • Two letters of reference (in English language) from scholars at universities or research institutions

Please consult our FAQs as they contain further information on the required application documents. [more]

Application Deadlines

The application portal will open in early October. The priority deadline for applications is 1 February. Late applications are possible until 1 May. Applicants are usually informed within two months after submitting their application. We recommend that you apply early as you usually need an offer of admission to secure a third party stipend.

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